SWMBO has asked me to build a side table for the nursery. It has an oval
top, sleigh shaped legs and a lower shelf. None of those are too big a
deal. The problem is the drawer portion. You can see a picture of the item
I have never made anything like that and really am unsure of how to do it.
If anyone knows of some good articles or techniques they can share, it would
be very helpful.
This looks like a job for bent laminations. Wood Works, David Marks
program on the DIY channel sometimes has episodes devoted to bent
laminated projects. That a good place to see how the process works.
Also, the Taunton Press (www.taunton.com) has a good series of books
for doing various things with wood. That'd be the "Complete
Another way to get the wood to bend like that is to use plywood and
cut kerfs vertically to get the wood to bend. This technique is shown
in those books I pointed out and in past issues of Woodsmith magazine.
Woodsmith is a bit unique in that all their back issues remain
available. They are at www.augusthome.com. The plan your looking for
is a semi-elliptical hall table from years ago. I think it's within
the first 90 issues of the magazine. They might have compiled all
that into a book by now.
And lastly, for the elliptical top and shelf, a jig can be made to
guide your router in a true ellipse. There are factory made jigs, and
there are homemade jigs. Use google and do a search on ellipse jig.
You could also ask your question on www.sawmillcreek.org
On Thu, 01 Jan 2004 14:43:51 GMT, "Mike in Mystic"
This can be done several ways,all you need is a piece of ply wood with two
blocks fastened to determine the height and width of the arc.Take thin
sheets of plywood or veneer 1/8 or less and glue them individually.When you
have the right thickness for the drawer front ,lay on top of the two blocks
and clamp down in the center while glue is still wet and continue clamping
until you've reached the desired arc and let dry.Or
Steam method is another way or cold clamping and stress relieve.
You can also use 1/2 plywood and cut relief marks on one side every 1/2 to
3/4'' apart and about 3/4's of the way thru the sheeting,
take 1/8 veneer and glue to both sides and clamp down while glue is wet and
use the blocks and clamp to achieve desired arc.finish up by sawing off
excess on both ends and install finish trim on edges
Made my curved front bedside tables last year. Made up a simple form (two
parts) from MDF, then laminated 3 pieces 1/4 ply together. My design used
a 3/4" drawer front and a 3/4" decorative front - I bent all the pieces
together to ensure matching curves.
Works well, not to difficult. Your drawer looks quite small - won't take
much force to bend the plywood. The hardest part is getting 8 sides coated
with glue, all the laminations stacked in the form, lined up carefully and
the clamps tightened evenly before the glue starts tacking up (I used plain
yellow glue - slower setting glue would have been better - but it's a messy
job, I wouldn't use Gorilla glue).
Try Urea Formaldehyde glue.
You don't have to use a vaccum press for this type of glue.
David Marks uses it all the time. He live near me and I have taken classes
Mike, I just made something similar:
Curved front, curved drawer. I used laminations for the build up.
First I drew the arc up on the computer, printed it out, and traced it
to 3/4" ply and cut it out with the jigsaw. I made two pieces. You
may notice from the photos on my site that the front of the table is
actually in 4 separate pieces. The grain all runs in the same
A 1.5" strip above and below the drawer, and the two pieces to the
sides of the drawer. They were all made out of approx 3/16" (or
whatever I could get my planer down to) of Mahogany. I used 5
laminations. Liberally applied some yellow glue (although after
making this, I've read that yellow glue can move over time.... We'll
see. I don't think the curve on my pieces is that drastic to cause
such a thing), and clamped it up using the concave portion to hold
against the convex portion. Before doing this I marked on the fixture
where the ends and the center of each piece occured. This way, when
I glued up for the drawer front, I used the same portion of the
fixture for clamping.
After sizing to width the 4 pieces of the frame, I glued them
together. No biscuits, just glue. Then I trimmed to length, and hand
planed it down smooth. There WILL be some manual work in this. In
fact, that was the most difficult part.
I did the drawer front after the table was put together. I suppose I
could have made the entire front in 1 piece, and cut the drawer front
out. It'd be interesting to see the difference in time and quality of
I did that. The drawer front also required a fair amount of planing
to get it to the exact contour of the frame.
This was the first (and only, so far) time in doing any type of curve,
and I think it turned out quite nice.
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